Pope Francis has named Dumaguete native Father Ryan Jimenez as the new bishop of the Church in Oceania.
The 44-year-old prelate will lead as the second bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands. He succeeds Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho, who served the diocese for 25 years until his retirement in 2010.
Serving as a priest for only 12 years, Jimenez has been serving as the apostolic administrator of the diocese with 15 priests and 21 female religious catering to more than 43,000 Catholics.
Jimenez finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Divinity from the Ateneo de Manila University before heading to Saipan in 1997.
He also studied at the St. Patrick Seminary and University in California, USA where he earned his Masters Degree in Theology in 2003. He was ordained a priest for the diocese in June of the same year.
Jimenez will be officially ordained as bishop on August 14, 2016, at the Chalan Kanoa cathedral.
Dumageuete Bishop Fr. Julio Cortes deemed the appointment of Jimenez a great news.
“Let us rejoice and pray for Bishop Ryan as he takes on the apostolic responsibility,” Cortes said. —Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena/ALG, GMA News